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I remember hearing an orchestra playing instrumental music. The beat was fast, (well, I guess 120 bpm or more). The notes were plenty and mixed. In my imagination as a kid, I would call it "jungle music", because of all the "messy" notes which combined together sounded interesting.

In the example I remember, orchestra was small (6-7 people), with instruments including guitar, piano, drums, trumps etc.

It was not classical. It was a bit like Swing music. But it's faster than Big Band Swing. Also the whole song was full of notes, no pauses, no calming down, all the 5-6-7 instruments together.

The closest one would be Tom Waits Instrumental. But it's crazier. The dirigent of the small orchestra would make weird and random movements of the body while enjoying the performance. Maybe there are also some Hawaiian nuances to it.

Maybe I'm not looking for a genre, but just for a specific song. I don't know.

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    This is an interesting question, but it could describe too many things. Can you add some description? Did it sound more like classical, jazz or funk? Did it have an old fashioned sound, or modern? Was there a strong beat? – Chris Sunami Aug 15 at 13:34
  • Some movements of *The Carnival of the Animals * by Camille Saint-Saëns fit the description. – guidot Aug 15 at 14:44
  • There's no such thing as "faster than Big-Band Swing". I've seen pieces with a tempo marking "faster than fast" – PiedPiper Aug 15 at 23:39
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    Where and when did you hear that? – 8134 Sep 15 at 2:12
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    @john On a tv show (that you wouldn't have heard of), played by a funky 6-people orchestra. – DonJoe Sep 15 at 21:51
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Polyphony, the sounding of many independent melodies together, is characteristic of many different musical traditions.

You didn't say much that helps narrow it down, but I'm going to take a guess that what you played was something at least inspired by one of the great polyphonic African-American musical styles.

  • One such style is Dixieland Jazz, an early jazz style from New Orleans characterized by a dense, fast-paced soundscape created by a large group of instruments playing semi-independently.

  • Big Band Swing was a successor to Dixieland, and also has a full, fast-paced polyphonic sound.

  • Free Jazz is an experimental modernist style of jazz from the 60s where the instrumentalists are truly improvising independently, without the chord structure of traditional jazz.

Just for fun here's a Tom Waits instrumental that kind of flirts with the line between big band and free jazz.

Those are all pretty old styles, however, and free jazz was never popular. Depending on when you were young, you might have been listening to a 70's funk instrumental.

  • Not classical. It is like Swing music. But it's a little bit faster than Big Band Swing. And also the whole song is full of notes, no pauses, no calming down, all the 5-6-7 instruments together. Maybe it's not a genre, maybe just a specific song, Idk. – DonJoe Aug 15 at 16:19
  • That helps narrow it down a lot. I included a lot of sample songs, did it sound like any of them? – Chris Sunami Aug 15 at 16:21
  • The closest one would be Tom Waits Instrumental you posted. But it's crazier. The dirigent of the small orchestra would make weird and random movements of the body while enjoying the performance. Maybe there are also some Hawaiian nuances to it... – DonJoe Aug 15 at 16:26

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